There is an exclusive mom club in our country.
A club so exclusive and secret that despite having a membership in the thousands most members can’t identify each other.
It isn’t a club you can join based on your own merits.
Membership is based solely on your child.
Once you become a member, you are a member for life.
There is one and only one way to leave this club.
And that is when your child takes their own life.
The Suicidal Child Club
The most exclusive mom club in our country is the Suicidal Child Club.
Just one common factor unites members – their child has either threatened or attempted to commit suicide.
There is no secret handshake or phrase to identify members.
Instead, members find each other through a keen eye and recognition of the familiar.
Clues to membership may include a Facebook post asking for unspecified prayers regarding a child or the entire family. Noticing a child missed a school performance or competition. Hearing that it has been a while since that child was at school. Or it might be seeing the mom in public and noticing that her demeanor and look on her face are way beyond a mom that is overscheduled and stressed.
Why the Suicidal Child Club is a Secret
The Suicidal Child Club remains a huge secret because it is not a mom’s decision to divulge her membership.
Their child is hurting. Hurting in ways that even their mom can’t understand or fix.
And the last thing in the world that child wants is for other people to find out.
So moms in this club keep their membership confidential. Even from each other.
Initial contact between members starts tentatively with questions like “Is everything okay with your daughter?” or “My son has had some struggles this year, how is yours doing?” Until finally one mom breaks and says what they both already know.
Their children have said they want to kill themselves or have tried to commit suicide.
Then the floodgates open and all comes out.
Members of this club know they can trust each other implicitly to keep their secrets private.
The Suicidal Child Club is a Lifetime Membership
Once you become a member of the Suicidal Child Club, you remain a member for life (with one exception).
You never stop worrying about your child.
What will happen if they go away to camp and get homesick?
If a boyfriend/girlfriend breaks up with them?
If they get a bad grade on a test?
If they get a job rejection?
If they don’t make the varsity team?
If basically anything in life does not turn out the way they had hoped?
Can I send this child away to college where I won’t be able to look them in the face every single day and check on their mental status?
Like every parent, you never stop worrying about your child.
Only for club members every time your child leaves your house you worry it will be the last time you ever see them.
That concern and worry never go away.
Depression and suicidal thoughts can occur at any point in a person’s life. And once you have been depressed once, there is a good chance it will happen again.
All we can do is get our kids professional help and pray they use their coping strategies rather than committing suicide.
There is One Way Out of the Suicidal Child Club
There is one way, and only one way out of the Suicidal Child Club.
Members get kicked out when their child commits suicide.
You are now in a new, more exclusive club.
A club where your life has permanently, and irreversibly changed.
Your child’s life and yours immediately go on display for the world to see, and judge.
When the Suicidal Child Club Loses a Member
When a member of the Suicidal Child Club is forced out, it sends a shockwave among the community.
Members immediately reach out to one another, checking in to make sure their children are okay.
Members cry in despair over that woman leaving their club.
The sorrow runs deep, even if they didn’t know the mom or the child.
Another precious child has died.
And it easily could have been her own.
I dedicate this post to my dear friend Audra who was kicked out of the club on May 21, 2018.